The Seven Trumpets
(Other Interpretations)

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Rome Christ Sanctuary Destroyed Pagan Rome Crusades Papal Rome Europe Papacy Falls 1844 Sanctuary Restored Rock Christ Millennium Judgment Hell Fire
Trumpet 1-3 Trumpet 4 Trumpet 5-6 Trumpet 7
The trumpets are a call to assembly for war or judgment. And the seven trumpets follow the pattern of judgment which is repeated in many cycles. Therefore, there appears to be several possible interpretations.

There are two interpretations that are worth consideration because they are the product of scholarly study that does capture the pattern of the judgments of the trumpets.

  1. Modern. The judgment of worldly systems
  2. Traditional. The fall of Rome in two phases
Seven Trumpets Seven Trumpets
Seven Trumpets
1 Ephesus White horse Fall of Jerusalem Fall of Jerusalem VisigothBarbarianEarly church in its purity
2 Smyrna Red horse Fall of Rome Fall of Rome Vandals Roman persecution
3 Pergamous Black horse Apostasy (Fall of the Church) Apostasy (Fall of the Church) Huns No gospel
4 Thyatira Pale horse Dark ages Dark ages Heruli Papal persecutions
5 Sardis Souls under the altar Fall of the papacy Ungodly philosophies SaracensIslam Martyrs cry for vindication. Philosophies of the French revolution become popular.
6 Philadelphia Earthquake, sun, moon, stars, 144,000 sealed French revolution Increased deception of 200 million Turks Judgment and the time of the end.
7 Laodicea Silence in heaven Last days (Fall of Babylon) Last days (Fall of Babylon) Time of the end and the Second Coming Judgment begins. Gospel completed and the Second Coming

Interpretation 1: Modern (Judgment of the World)
Judgment of the World
# Symbols Comment
1 Hail, Fire and Blood This describes the fall of Satan from heaven to earth.
Green grass and Trees burned The Jewish nation is rejected for those who obey the Spirit of God.
2 Burning Mountain falls in the Sea The nation of Rome falls after years of naval invasions by the Barbarians.
3 Star named Wormwood fell from Heaven Satan corrupts the church and causes them to apostatize
4 Third of the Sun, Moon and Stars darkened The church of the apostasy
The Three Woes
The fall of Babylon
5 Bottomless pit The earth in its dark and destroyed form, littered with millions of unburied dead bodies.
Fallen star Satan
Key to the Bottomless pit Key was given to the fallen Star.
Smoke False doctrine and tradition. Rejection of "sola Scriptura" by the Council of Trent.
Locusts Jesuits
Men cannot find death The church in captivity
Five Months The career of the Jesuits from the time they made war until they were suppressed worldwide (1618 - 1767).
Torment the people without the seal of God The Thirty years war affected the places where the Sabbath truth was not being taught
King (Angel of the Abyss, Abaddon, Apollyon and Wormwood) These were his names and titles. Satan spread bitter philosophies and immorality in the world.
6 Four angels released The Three angels of Revelation 14 and the mighty angel of Revelation 18
Prepared for the hour, day, month and year The language suggests that this might not be a period of 391 years but instead it identifies a specific point in time for an important event - like the beginning of the judgment of the righteous.
7 1844 - End The time of the end and the preaching of the gospel
Christ takes the kingdom Christ comes to take His people who are His kingdom. He has already won back clear title to the planet at the crucifixion.
Nations enraged The world is in the process of persecuting the people of God.
Wrath of God The wrath of God is the seven last plagues. The seventh plague is the Second Coming.
Judgment of the dead The seventh trumpet begins with the real Yom Kippur - the day of atonement. The cleansing of the people and the sanctuary began in 1844. This judgment started with the righteous dead.
Reward the saints The righteous are rewarded with eternal life at the Second Coming.
Destroy the wicked The wicked are destroyed in the Second Coming

Interpretation 2: Traditional (The Fall of Pagan and Papal Rome)
Trumpet 1
Symbol Meaning
Hail Gothic invasion from the frozen north
Fire Destruction of Rome by fire
Blood The great slaughter
Grass, trees People

The Fall of Pagan Rome: The Barbarian Invasion.

  1. The First Trumpet - The Invasion of the Goths. This refers to the pillage and burning of Rome by the Goths under their leader Alaric in 410. His first invasion was against eastern Rome, and a second invasion was against Western Rome.

    In the first invasion he captured Thrace, Macedonia, Attica and Peloponesus. Then he crossed the Alps and conquered Rome in 410.

    Hail and Fire mixed with Blood - The Gothic invasion from the frozen regions of the North and their methods of warfare (burning, killing, enslaving and destruction) are perfectly depicted in prophecy as a symbol of hail and fire and blood.
  2. The Second Trumpet - The Invasion of the Vandals.
    Trumpet 2
    Symbol Meaning
    Burning Mountain in the sea Genseric's naval invasion
    1/3 men 1/3 of the empire attacked
    1/3 ships Bay of Carthagena fire and the African Campaign
    The invasion and conquest of Africa and Italy by the Vandals under Genseric in 428-468 in several naval attacks as pirates against coastal cities and along the Roman trade routes. When they reached the shores, they used their horses to invade the land.

    A Third Part. The empire was divided among the three sons of Constantine, the Vandals invaded a third of the empire controlled by Constans (Illyricum, Africa and Italy).

    Great Mountain Burning with Fire Thrown into the Sea. This image describes the Naval forces of Genseric based in Carthage who operated as pirates in the Mediterranean. From this location he continually attacked the trade and commerce of the Roman empire. The Roman emperor prepared a naval fleet for three years but saw his unguarded fleet of (300 large ships and other smaller transport ships) destroyed in one night at the Bay of Carthagena.

    In 468, a second attempt (the African Campaign) was made by Leo 1 to defeat the Vandals. 1,113 ships and over 100,000 soldiers were sent They were completely destroyed by the Vandals when they towed large logs filled with combustible materials at night and set the fleet on fire.
  3. The Third Trumpet - The Invasion of the Huns.
    Trumpet 3
    Symbol Meaning
    Great star named wormwood fell Atilla the Hun
    Springs of waters Region of the Alps
    Wormwood, bitter waters The activity of the Huns
    The invasion by Atilla the Hun on Western Rome. The attack of the Huns was short and swift - like a great meteor.

    Springs of waters. They came from the region of the Alps and affected the areas of the empire where the rivers and springs originated. They attacked the areas of the empire where the rivers flowed into Italy.

    Wormwood . It made the waters bitter. This refers to the character of Atilla and the misery he brought to the region of the empire that He attacked. Atilla boasted that he was
    "... the scourge of God and the terror of the world", and that
    "... the grass never grew on the spot where his horse had trod."
  4. The Fourth Trumpet - The Invasion of the Heruli.
    Trumpet 4
    Symbol Meaning
    1/3 sun, moon, stars Emperor, Senate and Consul
    Western Rome fell in 476 under the Odoacer and the Heruli and they would later be conquered by another Barbarian - Theodoric of the Ostrogoths who would rule from 493 to 526.

    The Heruli occupied Rome and caused the Roman emperor to abandon the city, leaving it without an emperor. So, Odoacer became the first Barbarian ruler on March 5, 493.

    Sun, Moon and Stars. The ruling structure of Rome (Emperors, Senators and Consuls). One by one, they abandoned Rome as the new capital was set up in Constantinople and there were no more governing groups from the empire remaining in Rome. With the capture of its territory, only the titles and government remained in some places. These would be conquered also. The abandonment of the government of Rome occurred in these stages.
    1. Capital moved to Constantinople in 329.
    2. Roman emperor replaced by Barbarian ruler in 493
    3. The senate was dissolved after the Ostrogoths were removed from Rome by Belisarius.
    4. Justinian removed the Consuls in 541.

The Fall of Papal Rome: The Islamic Invasion.
The Three Woes. The previous trumpets caused the political fall of Rome by the Barbarian powers. The next three would see Rome conquered by religious powers. These religious attacks are seen are more destructive because they have the potential to change belief in God in a negative way and are referred to as the three woes.

Since the seventh trumpet results in a positive event for the saints, we must assume that the description of the last three trumpets as three woes is mainly from the perspective of the wicked.

  1. The Fifth Trumpet. The Saracens represented a new type of attack on Christianity and the Roman Empire.

    Fallen Star. Chosroes II was the King of Persia who besieged Constantinople and defeated the empire in Asia and Africa

    Keys to the Bottomless Pit. The bottomless pit is the Arabian desert where the Saracens originated.
    The key to the opening of the bottomless pit is the fall of Chosroes. He had ignored Mahomet and was murdered in 628 and with his death the apostles of Mahomet took over. By 629 the first war between the Moslems of Arabia and the empire of Rome occurred.
    Trumpet 5
    Symbol Meaning
    Fallen star Chosroes II
    Bottomless pit Arabian desert
    Keys to the pit The Fall of Chosroes in 628
    Smoke Religion of Islam
    Locusts Arabs (Saracens)
    5 months 150 years
    Faces of men Bearded arabs
    Hair like women Arabs had long hair
    Horses in battle Arabian Cavalry
    King Othman

    Smoke from the Pit. The religion of Islam - was a direct rival of Christianity whose aim is to conquer Christ. Jesus says He is the only way to God. Islam sees Him as just another prophet. In 632, Abu-Bekr tried to destroy Christianity through forced conversions.

    Do not hurt those with the Seal of God. The instruction of Abu-Bekr to the army was not to destroy the crops or the trees or even animals (except for food) or retired monks. They were to kill only those who had shaved their heads - the priests.

    Locusts. the Saracens who were apostles of Mahomet, they conquered the eastern empire.

    1/3 part of men. The Greek division of the empire.

    The Arabian Army. The prophecy predicts the rise of a cavalry that defeats the church. King (Abaddon). Othman first assaulted the empire on July 27, 1299 when they invaded Nicomaedia.

    5 months. For 150 years (5 months of prophecy) the Turks were at war with the empire but they did not capture Constantinople until 1449.
  2. The Sixth Trumpet.
    Trumpet 6
    Symbol Meaning
    4 Angels The 4 Sultanies of the empire
    Hour, day, month, year 391 years and 15 days
    1/3 mankind Greek division
    Fire, hyacinth, brimstone Color of the uniform
    Fire, smoke, brimstone from the horses mouths Appearance of gun fire from horseback
    The Ottoman Turks dominated the eastern region by the 1400's. By 1448, the Roman leader would not ascend the throne without the permission of the Arabs. So by 1451, the new sultan Mahomet II decided to conquer Constantinople. The siege began on April 6, 1453 and ended May 16, 1454 with the death of last of the Caesars.

    Four Angels. The four sultanies of the Ottoman Empire located in the region of the Euphrates river. (Aleppo, Iconium, Damascus and Bagdad). These angels were loosed by the voluntary submission of the Greeks to Arab rule.

    An hour, a day, a month and a year. In prophetic time this is 391 years and 15 days. It began in 1449 with the end of the 150 year period and continued until August 11, 1840 with the fall of the Ottoman empire.
    One reason this traditional interpretation of the trumpets became popular is because the scholar predicted the exact date of the downfall of the Ottoman empire using this prophecy.

    The trouble between Egypt and the Ottoman empire was settled with the intervention of England, Russia, Austria and Prussia because the Egyptian forces would have dominated the region.
    This intervention actually helped two prophecies.
    1. The Ottoman empire lasted exactly 391 years
    2. The Egyptian empire was not allowed to dominate again even though they had the strength to dominate the region at that time.
    In a similar manner, the attempt of Saddam Hussein to rebuild and occupy the old city of Babylon was halted by the Persian Gulf War when he ran out of money. Continuing hostilities with the United States might lead to a bombing of the walls that have been rebuilt.

    Army of Horsemen. The appearance of the army was seen in detail by the prophet.
  3. The Seventh Trumpet - The Second Coming.
    Symbols of Trumpet 7
    Symbol Meaning
    Loud voices in heaven The events at the beginning of the "Investigative Judgment" in 1844. When Christ began to reign and judgment was made in favor of the martyrs and against the little horn.

    The righteous dead are judged at this time.
    Temple and the ark
    Christ takes the kingdom
    Time for the judgment of the dead
    Wrath of God Seven last plagues
    Reward of the saints Second Coming
    Mystery of God finished Gospel preached
    Destruction of wicked At the Second Coming
    Earthquake and hail Second Coming
    Revelation 11: 15-19. This could only refer to the Second Coming - when the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and all the angels come to earth to rescue His church.
    Revelation 10: 7 - the mystery of God (the gospel) will be completed in the days of the Seventh trumpet.

    The trumpet began sounding in 1844 with the end of the 2300 day prophecy and the beginning of the judgment.

    Mystery of God Finished. The gospel is described as a mystery in Ephesians 1: 9, 10; Ephesians 3: 3; Ephesians 6: 19 and Colossians 4: 3. It shows that it is God's will to gather all things to Himself through Christ.

    Time of the Dead to be Judged. The trumpet describes scenes from the opening of the judgment. The Most Holy place was opened and the Ark was seen in the temple and Christ took possession of the kingdom. This scene is the same as the judgment scene in Daniel 7.

    Wrath of God. The wrath of God is clearly defined in Revelation as being given in the seven last plagues. It is ultimately the decision of God to give people what they wanted - to be outside His kingdom. In this wrath, he also answers the prayers of the saints for justice and this revenge comes in the form of the seven last plagues.

    Signs of the Second Coming. The trumpet continues with the Second Coming and it might continue to the Third coming because only then is the Mystery of God actually complete. The signs of the Second Coming are listed here and could represent a blending of the events of the Second and Third Coming:

Seven Trumpets: Other Interpretations
# Corrupt Church Babylon and the Little Horn Satan and the Wicked
1 Fall of Jerusalem Reformation Second Coming
2 Fall of Rome Fall of Papacy 1798 Fall of Babylon
3 Apostasy Doctrines of the French Revolution Satan bound
4 Dark Ages Signs in heaven. Dark day, blood moon, stars fall Millennium
5 Communism, evolution, secularism Communism, evolution, secularism Satan released after the millennium
6 Increased deception Time of trouble Armageddon and Judgment
7 Last days and the Second ComingGospel finished, Second Coming Wicked, sin and death destroyed. Christ rules.
The seven trumpets are the most difficult to understand because of several reasons: These interpretations are presented in the lesson on the trumpets.

God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. Romans 8: 28 Time: 30 minutes
Print: 5 pages
Copyright   Updated : September 25, 2004. 2008
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (March 2008)
The traditional interpretation of the seven trumpets is from "Daniel and the Revelation" by Uriah Smith.